Story and photo courtesy of Emory & Henry Athletics
EMORY, Va. - The Emory & Henry College Football Team (3-0) scored 24 unanswered points in the second half en route to defeating Methodist University (1-2), 34-20, in its 2012 home opener in front of 4,036 fans at Fred Selfe Stadium. With the win, the Wasps have opened the season with three wins for the third time in the past four years.
Emory & Henry got on the board first with a 12-play, 86-yard drive mid-way through the first quarter. A 13-yard rush by sophomore running back Kasey Jones (Jacksonville, Fla.) and a pair of receptions by senior wide receiver Adam Pugh (Norwalk, Ohio) highlighted the drive which was culminated by a four-yard rush by Jones.
The Monarchs answered on their next possession. Faced with a third-down situation, Methodist quarterback Max Reber found Vaughn Cross with a 57-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. The subsequent PAT hit the right upright, making the score 7-6 in favor of E&H.
On the Emory & Henry's next possession, Boden completed two passes of 25 yards or more before the drive stalled out and senior placekicker Matt Turchin (Salisbury, N.C.) came on for a 30-yard field goal. Turchin converted the kick to push the score to 10-6.
Methodist would take a 20-10 lead into the break after two quick scores. The first came on a 65-yard reception by James Bevans from Reber, and the second on a rush by John Pappillion from 10 yards out.
The Wasps' first possession after the intermission set the tone for the second half. An eight-play 55-yard drive led to Turchin's second field goal of the afternoon, this one a 37-yarder to close the gap to 20-13.
After forcing a three-and-out by the Monarchs, E&H went back on the attack, this time on four straight complete passes by Boden the last of which went to sophomore wideout Nate Dorton (Columbia, S.C.), who took it in from 17 yards out to tie the contest at 20 points apiece.
Another three-and-out stand by the Emory & Henry defense set the Wasps up with 75 yards to go for another score. The E&H offensive unit was up to the challenge as freshman wide receiver Deion George (Galax, Va.) caught four passes on the drive for 25 yards, including a 10-yarder that set up first and goal. Jones got his second rushing touchdown on the day with a three-yard plunge to give the Wasps their first lead since the 13:20 mark of the second quarter.
Methodist was unable to get its offense in rhythm and was forced to punt again. Boden led the Emory & Henry offense for its fourth straight scoring drive, this one a 10-play strike that covered 67 yards. Boden went 7-for-9 for 51 yards and an 11-yard rush. A five-yard reception by junior Chad Williams (Elkton, Va.) put the Wasps up by two scores, 34-20 with 12:28 remaining in the contest.
The E&H defense held on to keep the second-half shutout intact, keeping Methodist out of the red zone for the final 30 minutes of the game.
Individually for E&H, Boden led the offense as he went 35-for-51 on the day for 364 yards and two touchdowns. Jones had two scores on 15 carries with a total of 53 yards rushing, and caught a pass for 22 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Lucas Kirby (Covington, Va.) led the way for E&H, catching nine passes for 84 yards while senior DaVon Ross (Glen Wilton, Va.) had six receptions for 91 yards.
Methodist was paced offensively by Reber as he passed for 295 yards and rushed for 49 yards. Reber was 22-for-38 through the air with two touchdowns. Cross led all receivers on the day with 11 catches for 157 yards and a 57-yard touchdown while Bevans caught four balls for 83 yards and a 65-yard score.
The Wasp offense rolled up 444 yards of total offense compared to 385 for the Monarchs. E&H led MU, 23-14, in the first down column, but the real difference was in penalty yardage. Methodist was called for 16 penalties for 134 yards while Emory & Henry was penalized only five times for 44 yards.
Defensively, junior defensive back DeMikael Burse (Charlotte, N.C.) had eight tackles, one forced fumble and four passes broken up, including three which would have gone for scores. Junior nose tackle Cole Beyeler (Stuarts Draft, Va.) made eight stops including one sack for three yards. Linebackers Ross Ellis (Abingdon, Va.) and Paul Forney (Newton, N.C.) each made six tackles on the day. Senior defensive back Anthony Jones (Bristol, Va.) forced and recovered a fumble in addition to breaking up a pass.
M.J. Bryant led the Methodist defense with 11 tackles while Bryan King made 10 stops and had an interception which he returned for five yards. Roy Mewborn had seven tackles on the day and Keltsey Richardson and Seth Sandlin registered six stops apiece.
Emory & Henry will have its open week next week while Methodist will open USA South play when it hosts Greensboro College. The Wasps will next take the field on Saturday, September 29 when the Yellow Jackets of Randolph-Macon College visit Fred Selfe Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.